Discuss Your Comments With Disqus

Shout down phone

Overview:

The standard blogging systems have good, built in comment systems.  However many websites are now using the online comment system Disqus.  This article discusses the pros and cons of Disqus and explains why ‘Beginning to Blog’ uses the system.

Let’s Go:  What is Disqus?

Disqus is simply an alternative to a blog site’s own comment system.  For most blogs there is a simple plugin, which when activated will as the name suggests plug in the Disqus system.

There are two big differences to the standard comment system:

A user logs in once and can then automatically comment on any website that has Disqus activated. So for example once signed in you could write a comment on Beginning to Blog, but you can then go to other blogs and comment there, or you can even go to two UK national newspapers, the Independent, and the Daily Telegraph, and automatically make comments there.

A user’s comments and approval of other comments are stored on the Disqus systesm. The user then has a separate, online file of all their comments on all of the Disqus sites they have used.  As Disqus has a great search system this can be useful in checking back on the comments they have made or someone else, possibly impressed by someone’s comments on one site , can follow that person’s comments on other sites.

The login

A user can log into Disqus using their Twitter account, their Facebook account, Yahoo account or their OpenID.  Once the link is established they can comment.

This has the plus point that the gravtar, or image they use, on that account can be drawn in.  It also means that when a person is posting a comment they can also opt for the details of their post to summarised and linked on the Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo system.

The positive advantages of using Disqus

for the user

The biggest advantage is that the user receives emails telling them when there are comments on their comments.  The links in the emails takes the user straight to the comment and so it is quite easy to engage in a discussion or argument with other users of the site.

  • It saves the user registering on lots of different websites.
  • The user can quickly access all comments they have made.
  • On most website users can click on a button to say they like a comment, which can give positive feedback for the writer.
  • The user has a summary of how many posts they made and how many people have rated their comments.

for the website owner

  • Disqus cuts practically all spam.
  • The comments are often linked to on at least one of these services Twitter, Facebook or Yahoo.  This then produces backlinks from highly rated sites, which in turn enhances the rating of the blog or newspaper.
  • It makes their site look professional.
  • It’s very easy to control comments.  Hostile or unacceptable comments are easy to delete.

The downside

  • A person has to actually register before they can comment, which may block some potential commentators.
  • If there is a fault with the Disqus system then there maybe no comments on the site or the site could be slowed down.
  • The website owner has little control of Disqus.  If say Disqus decided to withdraw the free service I would have to balance between paying a subscription or losing my existing comments.  I think this is unlikely.

Why I use Disqus

I think that Disqus will cut spam on my sites, will look more professional, will give me valuable back links. It will also enable me to check the comment history of my commentators.